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Warwick students to develop sustainable energy in Tanzania

EWBEngineering students from the University of Warwick are heading to Tanzania to install and maintain sustainable energy technology.

Members of the University’s Engineering Without Borders society, the team will work with ILoveWindPower as part of a Member Led Partnership (MLP) to maintain previously installed technology and install new solar panels at the community centre in Kemgesi, a village close to the Serengeti National Park.

Once installed, the solar panels will be used to power essential equipment, including printers and photocopiers, and to help establish businesses in the village, such as phone charging.

In addition to installing and maintaining the sustainable technologies the team, comprising two 1st year students, Sama Zahir and Jc Randall, and two 2nd years, Zoe Rogers and Tom Pearson, will provide interactive workshops on building business and how to construct rocket stoves: a safer, more efficient cooking solution.

Speaking ahead of their travelling to Tanzania on September 1st Tom Pearson, the team’s MLP Coordinator, said:

“Development projects such as ours are significant because, as students in the UK, we have the ability to make a positive impact on less fortunate communities. However, I think it is important that the true needs of any target community are identified before aid is offered or given.”

The 2015 team are the third from Warwick who will have helped develop Kemgesi’s sustainable energy sources. In 2013 a team built a wind turbine to power lights in the village’s secondary school and in 2014 a team went to maintain the first turbine, install a second as well as solar panels on the school’s roof.

“Since the project began in 2013, we have formed a strong and hopefully long-lasting relationship with our partner in Tanzania and through this link, we have gained more and more understanding about how we can truly develop the community in a positive way.

“The long term aspect of this project is one of the reasons for me wanting to be involved. I know that I'm contributing to a larger cause and the small differences made each year are sustainable because they are maintained and re-affirmed each following year. I am also doing this for my own personal development; to experience, first-hand, a new culture, to gain insight in this field of work and finally to develop my leadership and organisational skills”, said Mr Pearson.

The team is part-supported by University of Warwick’s Student Event Support scheme, which allocates funds to enable students to put their skills into practice.

Commenting on the project Professor Sir Nigel Thrift, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Warwick, said;

“I’m so pleased to support Warwick’s Engineering Without Borders team. They will be putting the skills they have acquired at Warwick to practical use and helping to transform the Kemgesi community.

“It’s fantastic that the Student Event Support is being used in exactly the way it is intended, to benefit students at the University of Warwick by giving them the opportunity to develop and use key skills where they are most needed.”

Warwick may have a handful of places available in clearing for Engineering in 2015. Warwick’s clearing hotline number will be 024 7653 3544 and it will open at 8am on Thursday 13th August.

12 August 2015


Tom Frew - International Press Officer

Email: a dot t dot frew at warwick dot ac dot uk

Tel: +44 (0)247 657 5910

Mob: +44 (0)7785 433 155